NFL Super Wild Card Weekend continues on Sunday with a three-game slate starting at 1 p.m. ET.
In this article, I’ll be using various FantasyLabs tools and other industry metrics to break down the slate.
Patrick Mahomes had a pedestrian year by his lofty standards, but he still finished with 4,839 passing yards and 39 total touchdowns. He also seemed to improve as the season progressed, finishing with at least 20.32 DraftKings points in each of his past five games.
Mahomes stands out Sunday from a Vegas perspective. The Chiefs are listed as massive 12.5-point favorites over the Steelers, and they lead the slate with an implied team total of 29.25 points. Mahomes has historically been excellent in most situations, but he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +3.06 with a comparable implied team total (per the Trends tool).
The Steelers are a difficult matchup, ranking eighth in Football Outsiders pass defense DVOA, and they feature one of the best players in the league in T.J. Watt. However, Mahomes finished with 258 yards and three touchdowns in their first meeting this season, so he can clearly find success against this unit.
The game between the Cowboys and 49ers figures to be the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. The total sits at a slate-high 50.5 points, and the spread is just three points. That means this profiles as a high-scoring, back-and-forth affair.
Dak Prescott is reasonably priced across the industry, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in three straight games. That includes two games of at least 31.8 DraftKings points, albeit against shorthanded squads.
He’ll face a solid matchup vs. the 49ers. They’re a decent defensive team, but they’re much weaker against the pass than against the run. They rank just 16th in pass defense DVOA compared to second in rush defense, so Prescott could be asked to throw the ball more than usual.
Tom Brady stands out as the best pure value at the position on FanDuel, where his $8,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 74%. Brady remains as good as ever in his 22nd NFL season, racking up a league-leading 5,316 passing yards and 43 passing touchdowns. He ultimately finished as the third-highest scoring QB this season, putting him one spot ahead of Mahomes.
Rushing upside remains the Konami code for fantasy quarterbacks, and Jalen Hurts brings that to the table in bunches. That gives him an excellent ceiling, and he’s finished with at least 29.64 DraftKings points in two of his past three games.
If you’re looking to go cheap at the position, Jimmy Garoppolo is probably your best bet. He doesn’t have much of a ceiling, but he’s scored at least 17.74 DraftKings points in four of his past five games. You’ll take that kind of production at just $5,300.
Sunday’s slate is a bit light on star running backs. Only two players are priced above $5,700 on DraftKings, and neither is priced above $6,600.
Najee Harris is one of those players, and he’s been an absolute bell-cow for the Steelers this season. He’s racked up 306 rushing attempts, and no other Steelers running back has garnered more than 36. He’s also received every running back carry from inside the five-yard line.
However, what really sets Harris apart is his work in the passing game. He’s one of the most active receivers out of the backfield in the entire league. He’s garnered 94 targets this season, which is the third-highest mark on the team.
His role as a receiver makes Harris game script-proof in this matchup vs. the Chiefs. If this matchup stays competitive, he should have a sizable role on the ground. He can do some damage in that matchup as well, with the Chiefs ranking 20th in rush defense DVOA. If this game turns into a blowout, Harris should still get plenty of work as a receiver.
Overall, Harris leads the position in ceiling projection on DraftKings, where his $6,600 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 96%.
Elijah Mitchell remains the most disrespected player in all of fantasy. DraftKings refuses to price this guy properly when all he has done is smash. He did post a negative Plus/Minus in his last game, but he still finished with 85 rushing yards. Overall, he’s averaged 87.5 rushing yards per game with six total touchdowns this season.
Expect him to be busy Sunday vs. the Cowboys. Their defense has blossomed into one of the best in the league, but they remain slightly vulnerable against the run. They’re just 16th in rush defense DVOA, and the 49ers love to run the football. As long as they don’t fall into a hole, Mitchell should have plenty of opportunities to build on his impressive rookie season.
Darrel Williams should serve as the Chiefs’ feature back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of the lineup. He’s thrived in games without CEH this season, averaging 17.49 PPR points in seven contests. He’s another elite option on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 96%.
The Buccaneers will be without Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones this week, which leaves Ke’Shawn Vaughn as the presumed starter. That said, don’t sleep on Giovani Bernard. He’s been officially activated from the IR, and he’s adept at catching passes out of the backfield. Brady loves to check the ball down to his running back, so don’t be surprised if Bernard sees plenty of action.
The Cowboys employ a 1A-1B situation with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, and Elliott remains the preferred option. He’s been far less productive than Pollard this season, but he gets the vast majority of the work around the goal line. Still, Pollard deserves some consideration on FanDuel, where his $5,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%.
While this slack is lacking at running back, there are plenty of stud receivers to choose from. Still, it’s hard to ignore Tyreek Hill. He was limited to just 14 snaps last week due to a heel injury, but he is fully expected to suit up vs. the Steelers.
Hill has seen a sizable price reduction following his last outing, but he remains one of the most dangerous receivers in fantasy. He leads the Chiefs in targets and air yards, and he’s also seen the most end zone targets on the squad. He’s also capable of turning any catch into a long gain, giving him an elite combination of volume and explosiveness.
Hill also plays the majority of his snaps in the slot, which sets up a matchup vs. Arthur Maulet. Hill can feast in that spot. Maulet ranks just 92nd out of 120 qualifiers in terms of Pro Football Focus grade, and they give Hill a massive advantage in that matchup.
The Cowboys have plenty of receivers to target on this slate, but don’t forget about Cedrick Wilson. He’s taken over as the WR3 in place of the injured Michael Gallup, and Wilson has turned in back-to-back strong performances in that role. He was electric last week vs. the Eagles, turning six targets into five catches for 119 yards and two scores.
Wilson remains very affordable at just $4,300 on DraftKings, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 93%. He also leads the position in terms of projected Plus/Minus on DraftKings.
The Cowboys’ stud receiver duo of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb is also in play. Of the two, Lamb is more expensive and has a slightly better projection in our NFL Models, but he’s pulled a disappearing act recently. He’s posted a negative Plus/Minus in five straight games, and he’s seen just 11 total targets over the past three weeks. Cooper has amassed 25 targets over that time frame, and he’s projected for slightly less ownership. That could make him the preferred option.
Diontae Johnson has been a target hog for the Steelers all season, and he should retain that role vs. the Chiefs. However, the unexpected return of JuJu Smith-Schuster is an interesting wrinkle. It will be interesting to see how involved he is in his first game back, but he’s certainly intriguing at just $3,000 on DraftKings.
Deebo Samuel is used in a variety of ways for the 49ers, but he remains one of their top pass-catchers when the team needs to throw. They’ve played two competitive contests over the past two weeks, and Samuel has racked up at least 95 receiving yards in both games. Brandon Aiyuk could also be a nice option for the 49ers, and he grades out as a solid value across the industry.
Finally, Mike Evans will be asked to lead the way for the Buccaneers at receiver. Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are no longer in the picture, leaving Evans as the clear alpha. He thrived in that role last week, racking up six catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
The battle for the top spot at tight end is very competitive on this three-game slate. Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, and George Kittle all have legitimate claims to the throne and all three grade out very similarly in our NFL Models.
That said, I’m going to give Gronk the slightest of edges. His connection with Brady is well established, and he’s going to have to carry a monster workload given all their absences at receiver and running back. Gronk has recorded 10 targets in back-to-back weeks, and he finished with seven grabs and at least 115 yards in both contests. He’s finished with at least 21.5 DraftKings points in both games despite failing to find the end zone. Gronk is one of the best touchdown scorers in league history, so I’m not expecting his recent dry spell to continue. If he can add a touchdown to his recent production, he has ridiculous upside.
While Gronk, Kelce, and Kittle all stand out as excellent options, Dallas Goedert is easily the best pure value at the position on DraftKings. He’s projected for a Plus/Minus of greater than +3.2, and no one else at the position is better than +0.87. Goedert has been extremely busy since the Eagles traded away Zach Ertz, and he’s scored at least 13.1 DraftKings points in three of his past four games. He’s simply too cheap at $4,400.
The case for Kelce is pretty simple: He’s been the best tight end in fantasy for multiple years, and he plays with arguably the best quarterback in football. He’s also not that much more expensive than Gronk, and he ranks merely fourth at the position in terms of projected ownership. He still owns the top ceiling projection among tight ends in our Models.
If you’re looking to save a bit more at the position, Pat Freiermuth could warrant some consideration. He’s been highly involved for the Steelers over the second half of the season, particularly in the red zone. That makes him a threat for a cheap touchdown.